Compare cheap laptop insurance
After weeks of research on battery life, screen resolution and dual core processors, you've just invested in a shiny new laptop. Time to think about insuring your new purchase.
- Laptop insurance doesn’t automatically cover losing your laptop. You may be able to have it as an additional extra though
- Save money by choosing a policy which suits your needs. Don’t pay for extra cover if you don’t think you’ll need it
- Check your laptop isn’t already covered elsewhere first, like under your home insurance, travel insurance or a warranty
Nowadays, more of us use mobile devices than desktop PCs. In fact, according to Ofcom, we spend almost twice as long using our smartphones for browsing online than on laptops and computers.
However, for some of us, laptops are our mobile offices, our sanity savers and a vital connection with the rest of the world, something that a mobile phone just can't replace.
So when something goes wrong with them, we need it sorted pronto, and that's where finding the best laptop insurance policy can help.
What does laptop insurance cover?
This depends on the policy you take out. Cheaper policies will usually offer the most basic cover, so it's worth reading through the terms and conditions to see what each policy covers before deciding.
Most policies should include:
- Accidental damage, including liquid damage
- Worldwide cover (taking your laptop with you abroad)
- Mechanical failure and repair - even when your warranty has expired
- Accessory cover
But what if you accidentally leave it on a bus?
Some policies will cover loss as standard, with others you may be able to add it on as additional cover.
A more comprehensive policy may also include cover for:
- Screen cracks
- Unauthorised usage (if your laptop is lost or stolen)
- Malicious damage
- Short circuit (for example, if a lightning strike causes a voltage increase in the power supply while your laptop is charging)
- Operating error
- E-wallet cover (when someone other than you buys something using your e-wallet)
- Family cover (cover for your immediate family's gadgets under one policy)
Did you know...?
- There may be an upper limit on what insurers will pay out per claim
Rather than buying a premium policy, you can save yourself money by thinking about what cover you actually need.
For example, if you live alone, you can ditch the family cover.
All policies come with exclusions or limitations on what they'll cover. This means your insurer may not pay out if you try and make a claim for certain situations.
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the most frequent reasons for turning down claims are:
- Not buying the right type of cover
- Claiming for normal wear and tear
- The policy excess was more than the claim being made
Check the terms and conditions for the following:
The age of your laptop
Some policies will only cover your laptop if it's under a certain age, for example 36 months.
You may need to provide proof of purchase for your laptop. Even if it was a gift, they'll still need some form of receipt to pay out under the policy.
If you bought a refurbished laptop, you may have to provide proof that you got it from a reputable source, for example an Apple Store refurb, rather than second-hand on eBay.
Purchased in the UK
If you picked up a bargain on your trip to Hong Kong, some insurers may not cover it.
Some will only insure UK purchased devices.
Some policies will have a 14-day deferment period, during which you won't be able to make a claim.
Wear and tear
Laptop insurance policies won't pay out for normal wear and tear.
Did you know...?
- You’ll need to report the theft or loss of your laptop to the police and get a crime reference number to give to your insurer
Policyholders are required to be 18 or over for certain laptop insurance policies.
If you've given your laptop a bit of a bash but it still works, a policy won't usually pay out to repair scuffs and scratches.
Forgot to update your anti-virus software and a sneaky virus has run amok among your data files? Your insurance policy won't typically cover the cost of getting your laptop back in running order.
Number of claims
Most policies will have a limit on the number of claims you can make while insured. For example, you may only be able to make two in a 12-month rolling period.
Don't forget about the policy excesses
The excess is the sum of money you're expected to pay towards any claim you make.
Did you know...?
- You have to activate a warranty when you take it out, or you won’t be able to make a claim on it
Say your screen cracks and you need to get it replaced. Your policy may have an excess of £50 for any incident - this means you have to pay £50 towards the repairs.
Watch out, there may be different excesses for different kinds of claims. Check the policy documentation carefully for the terms and conditions.
Is a laptop insurance policy my only option?
There are a number of different options for insuring your laptop.
Insurance or care plan
If you buy it new, you may be offered insurance or a care plan by the salesperson.
Taking one out may seem the easiest option, but our top tip is to shop around to make sure you get the cover that best suits your needs at the cheapest price.
A new laptop generally comes with a warranty, which will usually cover repairing your laptop if it breaks down, or replacing it if it can't be fixed. This will usually have a time period attached to it, after which you won't be covered any more.
If you've got several devices you want to insure, gadget cover may be your cheapest option.
If you've got a home insurance policy, your laptop might be covered under it.
If it is, make sure the policy covers the cost of your laptop. You don't want to find out you can only claim a couple of hundred pounds when you've bought a top of the range model worth treble that.
You'll also want to check whether the policy will cover you if you take your laptop out of your home.
By Kath Denton